Saturday, February 26, 2011

Luna Siegel, 6/13/10 -2/26/11

Goodbye, sweet baby Loonz.

We loved you so much.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vazquez Rocks

Yesterday, it was a beautiful if chilly day here in the SoCal, so we opted to take Miss Pupps & The Tween out to Vazquez Rocks for a hike. This is a beautiful park about an hour north of the San Fernando Valley, featuring unusual rock formations caused by its proximity to the San Andreas fault. So unusual is the terrain, the park is often used as a stand-in for other planets in movies and TV shows -- most famously, Star Trek. (See: Kirk v. Gorn.)

It made for a lovely morning outing.

Please enjoy these snaps!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Healthcare Clusterf*ck

So, as most of y'all know by now, we had to switch health-insurance companies at the end of last year, moving from Blue Shield to Aetna. We've had Aetna before and were pretty happy with them -- as happy as one can ever be with an HMO. We were all able to keep our old doctors, so that was a relief. The costs of everything went up, but that's okay -- we expected that. No more cushy state-subsidized healthcare for us. ;-)

One of my first orders of business was to switch my prescriptions to the new plan. Since the cost of everything had gone way up (can you say $50 for a Nuvaring?), I was motivated to set everything up via their mail-order pharmacy. I went to my doc, got the scripts, and submitted everything, easy-peasy.

After awhile, I received a letter from Aetna, saying there was a problem with one Rx, and it had been delayed. I knew which one it was -- my anxiety med. A very basic med, I'm on a low-dosage, and there is a generic available. But I had requested to have the dosage reduced by half, in the hopes of eventually weaning myself off of it. I would, however, need to continue to take 2 per day, until my body adjusted to the lower dosage.

Aetna didn't like this. To them, on paper, it looks like I'm just taking double the number of pills for no reason. Their costs go up, so they put the kibosh on it.

From what I can piece together, they tried to talk to my doc about this; I dunno whether he talked to them or not. He hates HMOs and has advised me that he will soon be affiliated with none of them. I don't blame him! Who wants to have your every move questioned by a paper-pusher?! The order was cancelled altogether.

This leaves me running low on this medication that I've been on for years, and which has a NOTORIOUSLY bad cold-turkey withdrawal. Now, I will have to go BACK to my doc, and get ANOTHER Rx that won't be questioned by Aetna. I guess I'll ask for the half-dosage, once a day. That should fly. And if I have to take extra to combat side effects... Well, I dunno what will happen then, because I know they won't like that. Their rules don't allow for people's differing reactions to medications, or the lack thereof. Their rules aren't about PEOPLE. They're about MONEY.

Good thing I'm unemployed and have time for this bullshit, huh.
But seriously. This is insanity.

I'd like to see ALL state/federal/government/military workers -- but most especially POLITICIANS -- have to deal with these HMOs. Because only then will "certain people" in power recognize that this is ridiculous, embarrassing for America, bad for society, bad for people's health, and COSTS MORE IN THE LONG RUN.

I will also point out to Aetna... when your customers are social-media whores, this stuff IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR PR. #sorry

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lunch at a cemetery?! I'm SO there!

Today, I went over to Westwood to have lunch with my delicious girlfriend Jessica. We decided to meet at the cemetery that's just off Wilshire. Most people don't even realize it's there! Jessica brought us some yummy Thai food and we sat on a bench in the shade.

I made sure to get a pic of Jessica with the cemetery's most well-known occupant.

I was especially happy to see that Don Knotts has gotten a new grave marker! It's gorgeous! For comparison, I've included a photo of Mr. Siegel with Don's previous marker -- that photo was taken in 2009.

I love Jessica. I love cemeteries. I love beautiful southern California days. I love Thai food.

So, I guess it goes without saying that I loved today. :-D